The Face Reader

Swami Nikhilaananda said:
"I was told that I sucked at math... I still couldn't understand what his problem was"

"Well, hullo neighbour! What may I do for you?" asked my merry neighbour. He didn't look particularly smart, but he had a long list of degrees below his name-plate, the one etched in granite that was outside his home-office... - BA, BCom, BSc, LLB, and a couple of finance related degrees, I fail to remember those names. Who even does so many courses? "I was told you are good at palmistry. I also saw the board outside. I was just wondering if you could have a look at mine" I told him meekly. He was also good at numerology. This happened on the last day of my PU exams. "Why, sure. Come on in"

He handed me two pieces of crude cylindrical translucent glassy objects. "Hold these crystal pieces in your hand. They will drive away the evil spirits, the negative energy from you so that I can read it clearly". "What a load of bunkum", I thought to myself as I clutched them. Note that I don't believe in any of these people, though I do have faith in the science for some reason - Science? Did I hear you scoff? Well, I am more of a person who doesn't simply dismiss that it is all plain rubbish, nor do I believe in them. For, I do know that there are a lot of things that go unexplained, and therefore refrain from developing opinions about these.

"Alright, hand it over. Now, let's see... Hmmm" he said as he observed my palms. He saw my face and said "Are you doing science? Because you certainly shouldn't be doing science" he said. Indeed, I was doing science, and I loved Biology, Chemistry and Physics. I wondered why I shouldn't do science. "As a matter of fact, yes, I am a science student. Pray tell me, why should I not be doing science?" I asked out of curiosity. "Simply because you're not analytical. You won't do well in the technical field" he said. I was taken aback. "As a matter of fact, I will bet you're poor at mathematics too!" he continued. I was convinced that all of this was hogwash. "Incidentally I had my maths exam today, and I am expecting centum" I protested, putting up a brave face. He snorted. "Impossible. I wouldn't be surprised if you barely passed".

Note that this man was absolutely certain, his confidence was immense. So greatly confident he was that my mother actually began to worry. "I had asked you to study properly" she chided."He doesn't know what he's saying" I said after I reached home, "I'm expecting full marks" I reassured her. And lo! We had a re-exam scheduled owing to some leaked papers. Great snakes! Is the soothsayer going to be vindicated? The Oracle has predicted my doom! Maybe the first went well, but now I am screwed! Not quite... I did well in my second exam as well, and got a measly 97 in Maths, 98 in Chemistry and 99 in Physics.

I happened to meet another person, a man known as the Antaryami, because apparently he knows everything. He's a face reader, and can tell anyone's future just by looking at their faces. The man looked intelligent, for he wore glasses, and glasses make anyone look intelligent, the operative word being look. His silver beard and saffron robes added more reliability to his job profile. I sat in front of him for a full demonstration of his powers. He looked at me and told "He's an average boy. He'll be nothing spectacular in life. He's a common man, you know, the one you see in a crowd. He'll never stand out and do anything different. He's a nobody. He can't do anything worthwhile, it's difficult for him to get a job" I was surprised, and convinced that I had a stupid looking face. Two different people calling me average!! Unless there was a congregation of soothsayers where they put "Term this guy as average and common, you know, just to screw with him" in their agenda and guffawed heartily, this was not a mere coincidence. It had to mean that I am indeed average, or more likely that I had a stupid face.

As you see, what's also surprising is that they didn't hesitate to say these things. There was no concern for feelings. And I have no words about their confidence. They spoke as if they had it written on the back of their hand, for it certainly didn't seem to be written on the front of mine. One guy said that I will equal the legendary Nala in cooking (remember Nala-paaka?). It's a fact that I can cook Maggi noodles alright, and I can boil water without burning it... That's where my culinary skills end. Another guy said that I will be a tenth of a million rich. There have been numerous predictions about my education, about my life, about my wife, and what not?

Do I believe in these people? Of course not. Why do I go to listen to their rot? It tickles me, I often find myself in need of some good humourous situations and who better than face and palm readers? The only thing that worries me though, is that they decide which guy or girl is best suited for you by matching horoscopes. Oh, I don't say horoscope matching is silly, I say these people are. Imagine if you end up with a completely useless person based on some horoscope matching done by one of these people...

If you are truly clever, you can make 'predictions' by observing. For example, a man looked at my friend's horoscope and made some predictions. He said 'Whatever you wanted to do till now, you have done it well. Got 100 on 100, for you sought a 100. For the next 20 years, if you seek 100, you get around 95, unless you work really hard, in which case you can get a 100. After that, for the next 10 years, you will hit some roadblocks, and after that for the next 20 years, you've the Midas touch. All that you touch is gold' The first prediction has to be true, you know it by observation. The next is also true, because it's a generic statement. The last two can not be proved, because who the heck will remember this prediction 20 years later? The good thing though, is that it is still sensible advice, the work hard to reach your goals part. So it's fine. But there are some who would hoodwink by asking for sacrifices and donations to the Goddess...

To summarise, all these people apparently know squat. It's up to you to decide your destiny, your future, your path. The forces that are superior to you will do what they will do anyway, they are superior and you won't be able to circumvent them in either case. What you can do, you should and leave the rest to God or fate or destiny or chance, whatever suits you. Just because they predict doom, it doesn't mean anything. But if you have a stupid face, well, there's not much that you can do :-)

Comments from Twitter
Lokesh Acharya
 thumba chennagide sir.! I assume tht "I" in th story is not you.. Lol :) whatever,its true tht v shud nt blv thngs blindly..

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The weaver and his fate (story)


Poonam said…
"It had to mean that I am indeed average, or more likely that I had a stupid face." this was funny :P maybe even true :D !!!

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